Hot answers tagged

265

You are paying for the drink and a deposit for the bottle. The deposit should be listed on the shelves, but usually in small print. Look for something like "zzgl. 0,15 Pfand". As to your initial thought, prices on supermarket shelves include VAT. There are deposits on many but not all drink containers, the rules are complicated. Deposits apply to non-...


132

Tipping is not at all mandatory in Germany and usually the service personnel does not rely on tips as much as in the USA, say. Usually, if you do not state the amount you want to round up to ("make it X EUR" — or "Stimmt so" if you do not expect change at all), they will start picking up coins from their purse and give you the exact amount of change ...


130

I had this happen with the S-Bahn in Frankfurt and made 'official' enquiries about what sort of action the person should take (I like to play everything strictly by the book). By 'official' I mean I went to the station manager's office and asked the question to him point-blank. Predictably for Germany, there is a brochure that explains the procedure. Each ...


113

I asked the Bundespolizei on Twitter. This is their reply. In English that reads Your documents are valid in general. You only need the originals to cross borders. It would be useful to have a copy, and to tell them about the AZR. AZR stands for Ausländerzentralregister, which is the federal German database of everyone who has a permanent residence or ...


108

TL;DR: It’s religious cultural. A considerable portion of Germans consider the absence of a general speed limit a fundamental freedom and will strongly argue against any suggestions to abolish it. If a politician or political party were to suggest a general autobahn speed limit, they would lose a considerable number of votes – which is why it does not ...


100

According to this link (only in German), it is to check if you have bought the ticket just right now or a sufficient amount of time before. The rules usually are, that you have to buy a ticket before you get on the train. Now, with mobile tickets, some "clever" people thought, they just need to buy a ticket when they see the conductor, and to ride free when ...


96

I am not a member of such fraternities, but my father was and my brother is, so I have some good second-hand knowledge of these traditions. Such duels are always between two fraternities, so to take part in one you would first have to join one. Eligibility criteria differ from fraternity to fraternity, but practically all require that you are a student of a ...


95

they can exploit it in their favor Everything in restaurants¹ is more expensive than the pure cost to acquire or produce it. This is how the waiting staff and location is paid. The only difference in Germany is that there is no culture of offering free tap water everywhere. Thus asking for tap water in a German restaurant (and expecting to pay less than ...


95

Write down or memorise the number of the ticket machine (Automatennummer, Automaten-Nr. or similar) as well as time and date. For a typical Deutsche Bahn machine, it is the number on white background in a window that looks like this: If possible, take a picture showing that it isn’t working. On each machine there is a number to contact in this event; call ...


94

German double beds are usually equipped with two mattresses. A 'French bed' (französisches Bett), on the other hand, is a bed wide enough for two persons, but equipped only with one mattress. They are usually narrower than regular double beds, the most common width is 140cm, but not necessarily. If you look into bed shops with a wider selection of products,...


76

I have been living as a white, non-obvious foreigner in Germany for more than 25 years. Nationalism used to be frowned upon until recently, at least the subject was rarely discussed openly, but there are strong, dormant xenophobic tendencies in large parts of the German society, even if noone speaks about it. In the last few years, the nationalist and racist ...


72

As at most international airports in Europe, all of the passport control officers will speak English. I was there a month ago, speak no German, and had no problem communicating with them.


70

Oktoberfest is a major international tourist festival in a modern, progressive country. No one will question your attendance, no matter how you look. The only reason it would be awkward is if you told everyone that you didn't like German beer! [The only suggestion of racism I could find was where an Asian customer was asked to move from a table at ...


70

Edit: The new answer by Jack is quite excellent! However, unless doing something like that, then: There was a lot of leftover debris while the Berlin Wall was being demolished. That, however, was a long time ago and parts of the Berlin Wall are now being intentionally maintained* as a historical monument. Therefore, removing pieces of it without permission ...


69

It is illegal to run out of gas on the Autobahn according to the German StVO (Straßenverkehrsordnung) which is the road traffic regulations in Germany. The fine can be from €30 up to €70 depending on the case. The reason why it is illegal is that stopping on the highway due to insufficient petrol can be avoided and is a human error and therefore punishable. ...


66

According to the legend this tradition was started by hotels in the 19th century. Unlike today there was a single bathroom for a whole floor. This room was at the beginning of the hallway and not a real guest room. Hoteliers therefore used the room number "00". Other common explanations include the shape of an opened toilet seat but as far as I know that ...


65

Provided there were no other sign or rule forbidding it, turning was perfectly fine. The red X cross on blue background means it's forbidden to stop (absolutes Halteverbot). It's somewhat similar to the more well-known “no parking” sign, but stricter (parking is defined as leaving your vehicle or letting it stand longer than three minutes whereas this signs ...


65

There is a hotel in Berlin that lets you chip away your own pieces of the wall and take them with you as part of a package deal. So there do still exist legal options for you to take your own piece home.


64

TL;DR Tipping is never mandatory, but most Germans do it. 5%-10% is most common, round up to a whole number, or to 50 ct if amount < 10€ Not tipping does not automatically mean that you were unsatisfied, but could be a hint. Should I tip? In general, deciding whether or how much to tip is a subject of debate in Germany as well, just as in many other ...


63

I live in Prague where the water is equally safe to drink and tastes well, however plenty of people still buy bottled water. The reasons are: Different flavors. Bottled water comes in a variety of tastes and levels of carbonation, which is obviously unavailable from the tap. As suggested by long-time resident @Relaxed, this is part of the German affinity ...


62

German autobahns are not exceptionally safe In fact, German Autobahns have mid-level safety compared to other countries, well behind countries such as the UK. The Czech Republic has particularly unsafe roads by EU standards so you are perhaps better off in Germany but your presumption that German roads are exceptionally safe is unsupported. Thus the ...


59

The bicycle riders have to be careful and wait if necessary. Here is a German newspaper article on the subject. The basis for the rule is § 20 of the German traffic regulations (StVO), whose first two paragraphs translate roughly to: (1) Busses, trams, and school busses, which stop at designated stopping points (sign number 224), may only be passed ...


58

I can not comment yet on this SE, and this is not an answer to the question, but I feel like I have to warn you. And the other two answer you got (Jan's and Tor-Einar Jarnbjo's) are still pretty good. Before you go racing, you may want to check this video about a situation identical to yours: https://youtu.be/fUapNMXiz0k This happened a year ago on a ...


58

The Bahnhofsmission (train station mission, mission in the religious sense) is over 100 years old and began as a Christian network to help out young girls moving into the cities who were searching for work and were prone to be exploited for low/unpaid work or prostitution. Train stations were hot points for social problems because they connected and still ...


58

It is perfectly normal to accept or reject the receipt if that is asked. It is slightly impolite to reject a receipt if it has been printed and handed out, since this slows the checkout line for everybody and since the sales clerk may not have a waste basket nearby. The shop is always required to keep records for tax purposes. Generally that means printing ...


57

Difficult to say. The 112 emergency dispatcher should be able to connect you with the police, even if you also can call the police directly on the number 110. Perhaps the operator did not consider a break-in in an appartment urgent enough to do the job for you. Yes, it violates the GSM standard, but calling emergency services in Germany from a cell phone ...


56

The short answer is: you can't. As an "honorary" member of a Burschenschaft, I fought two duels in Freiburg in 1988, leaving me with a prominent Schmiss on my right cheek (11 stitches) and a small one (one stitch) that probably wont be noticeable even if and when I go bald. I've probably witnessed over 100 duels. Though a lot of time has passed since I ...


56

From the Frankfurt airport website: The Federal Police will also deal with compliments and complaints concerning aviation security matters. Airport Security Check +49 (0) 69 690 - 78578 bpold.frankfurt@polizei.bund.de I believe much of the work is performed by contractors, but the police oversee the operation. If you wish, the airport ...


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